NOAA adjusts Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast

Published: Friday, 10 August 2018 08:12

Conditions in the ocean and the atmosphere are resulting in a less active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted in May, say NOAA forecasters. As a result, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has increased the likelihood of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 60 percent (up from 25 percent in May). The likelihood of a near-normal season is now at 30 percent, and the chance of an above-normal season has dropped from 35 percent to 10 percent.

For the entire season, which ends on November 30, NOAA now predicts a total of 9-13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater) of which 4-7 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 0-2 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater).

To produce the seasonal update, forecasters take several factors into account. These include: El Nino is now much more likely to develop with enough strength to suppress storm development during the latter part of the season. Additionally, sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea have remained much cooler than average. A combination of stronger wind shear, drier air and increased stability of the atmosphere in the region where storms typically develop will further suppress hurricanes.